Financial Services: Background Checks Uncover Errors in 7/10 Applications

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HireRight’s latest Candidate Health Check, which tracks the current level of errors on job applications, finds that seven in ten (68 per cent) applications in the financial services industry contained inaccuracies in the first half of 2016. If it is to employ the best candidates, the sector has challenges to address to ensure the accuracy of its applications.

Following the introduction of the Senior Managers Regime, Certified Regime and Conduct rules in March, the industry has had to review its screening processes to match the new rules. However a month before the rules came in, the rate of inaccuracies reached an all-time high of 71 per cent – with rates remaining high in May (69 per cent) and June (68 per cent). .

From 311,000 checks of over 34,000 financial services job applications between January and June this year, 33 per cent contained inaccuracies relating to education. A further 35 per cent related to work history, and 20 per cent of professional qualifications and memberships checks contained faults. Errors are being made in important areas– and often.

There are a number of reasons to explain why errors could be being made in job applications:


Firstly, the competitive, repetitive, and at times stressful nature of job seeking could lead to candidates rushing through and not paying due care and attention to the necessary facts.


For some of us, education, qualifications, and past jobs can feel an age ago. However, time passed doesn’t mean getting these right is any less important.


And of course, there is a chance that application inaccuracies could have been supplied intentionally. Whether it’s to beat off competition for a sought after role, or to get into a role that requires additional qualifications, there is every chance an inaccuracy could be supplied on purpose.

In the financial services industry, regulation such as the new regimes highlight how vital it is to ensure employees can be trusted, as they access sensitive client information and are responsible for life-changing sums of money.

Background checks help protect businesses from the associated performance and reputation risks. Without screening, unqualified or inappropriate candidates could slip through the net. For every level, employers should consider their screening needs, and perform fair and proportionate checks based on the level of risk involved for a role. Being the best in the industry necessitates having the best employees – and this starts from the recruitment process.

To ensure you are fully prepared for the new regulatory framework, see our whitepaper: ‘Regulation Ready: Preparing for the new regulatory framework for financial services’, or get in touch at

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HireRight is here to help guide you through the biggest screening challenges so you can focus on what’s important to you; attracting top talent. HireRight provides employment background screening services to organisations of any size, in every industry, and nearly anywhere.

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The HireRight Blog is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any statutes or laws cited in this article should be read in their entirety. If you or your customers have questions concerning compliance and obligations under United States or International laws or regulations, we suggest that you address these directly with your legal department or outside counsel.

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